My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A.J. Green's pro day saga, and other fascinating notes

Georgia’s pro day has just been completed. And there ended up being a bit more drama than expected.

The player a lot of scouts came to see was A.J. Green, and they did get to see him – but only through a computer, and only after a long set of deliberations.

The issue was who would throw to Green. The star receiver has been training with Justin Roper, a former University of Montana quarterback who now lives in Buford. But according to an obscure NFL rule, that prohibited scouts from watching Roper pass to Green – or Kris Durham or fullback Shaun Chapas – in person.

At first it appeared to be a lockout-related issue. No current NFL quarterback, such as Matt Stafford (who was in attendance) could participate, because players are locked out. And anyone throwing to the receivers had to be draft-eligible, ruling out Aaron Murray.

Roper, who works with San Diego based passing guru George Whitehead, is draft-eligible. But the NFL also stipulates that the passer must live in the “Athens metroplex,” as Whitehead put it. Buford was not inside the Athens metroplex.

There was a lot of back-and-forth, with head coach Mark Richt engaging in a lot of checking himself. In the end, Green held firm on wanting to use Roper.

“That’s the only quarterback that I had timing with. So my agent and I felt he was the best guy for the job,” Green said.

So after a long set of negotiations – including calls to the NFL league office – it was determined that Roper could pass to Green and the others, but the scouts couldn’t watch. So after all the other positions had gone through their drills, the NFL scouts moved inside to watch the catching drills on ESPN3.

As you’d suspect, Green was impressive in his drills. But he did take a spill near the end, tripping over a cord barrier.

“I caught myself,” Green said. “I had on some gloves, so I was all right.”

A few other notes off the top of my notebook:

- Green hasn’t made a decision about whether to attend the draft. He wants to, but is waiting to see what happens on the NFL Players’ Association boycott call. Green said he was hoping for a “conclusion” to the matter.

“It’d be nice to go to New York, that’d be a dream come true,” Green said.

- Green was asked about his Wonderlic score, which was reported to be low. There are 50 questions on the test, and Green said he only got to about 20 of them.

“I didn’t even finish,” Green said. “I was thinking too much. I didn’t want to skip any questions. … If you come back here and look at my grades, you know I’m not dumb.”

- While Green didn’t do anything but get weighed and catch passes, Justin Houston went through drills at defensive end and linebacker. He said teams are looking at him at both positions, and didn’t express a preference.

Interestingly, Houston said he only got a second-round grade from the NFL draft advisory committee. That’s part of the reason he took his decision right up to the deadline, only notifying Richt the night before.

“As of right now, I do think that I made the right decision,” Houston said. “But in due time, we’ll see.”

- Clint Boling said teams are looking at him at guard and tackle, but that more teams seem to be looking at him at guard.

“As long as I can play guard, tackle, something like that, it doesn’t really matter to me,” Boling said.

- There was also a Marcus Dowtin sighting, as the former Georgia linebacker was among the many non-participants who attended. Dowtin announced his intention to transfer after the season, and said he was looking at Division II schools such as Texas A&M-Kingsvile, Northwest Missouri, North Alabama and Carson-Newman.

Dowtin, who is not currently enrolled at Georgia, said those teams might let him also play running back.

- Logan Gray, who is also transferring from Georgia, was also in attendance, hanging out with fellow current and former players. Gray is set to visit Colorado in a couple weeks.

- And continuing the trend of awkward appearances, guess who the Carolina Panthers’ representative was on Tuesday? That would be Warren Belin, who left as Georgia’s inside linebackers coach in February to take the linebackers job at Carolina.

- I wasn’t one of the people who brought a stopwatch and breathlessly watched every drill. But it seemed that Kris Durham did well in his receiving drills and sprints, Kiante Tripp showed up well in the weight room, and the Cincinnati Bengals – who have the fourth pick – spent an awful amount of time sidling up and talking with Green.


Anonymous said...

Geez, the Athens metroplex? least that means we can go down to Watkinsville or Winder to get a QB to simply throw? Our world has too many rules....if we're not careful, we're going to turn into Russia.

Anonymous said...

Forget Russia, we are knee deep into the Soviet Union.